Fire, by Giuseppe Arcimboldi (1527 ca- 1593), oil on panel, © The British Library Board (11048399)
Date: 4-6 December 2013
Location: The University of Melbourne
Registration: closes Monday 25 November 2013. Click here to register.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. Further details here.
A source of survival, comfort and terror, humans have struggled to control and harness fire since its discovery tens of thousands of years ago. This symposium will address emotional responses to fires in literature and history, looking particularly at how the fleeting destruction of a blaze is conveyed in narrative terms. Participants will be invited to consider a dialogue between ancient and modern representations of fire (including the mythical) and the affective responses that they evoke. Speakers are also encouraged to address the role that fictional representations of burning landscapes or cityscapes can play in the aftermath of a major disaster.
Topics may include:
- Disaster narratives/environmental catastrophe
The ecology of fire
Representations of bushfires/wildfires
Performing fire/ the aesthetics of fire
The poetics of the flame
Fire in the colonies
Fire and colonial settlers
Indigenous representations of fire
Fire and childhood
Fire and folklore
Fire and national identity
Firescapes and emotions
Psychological responses to fires
Fire and memory
The domestic hearth